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Sault filmmakers tell tales in YouTube shorts:

The creative team behind a horror anthology filmed in Sault Ste. Marie and Echo Bay is sharing scary tales detailing their experience in a new series of videos posted on YouTube.

Think the film business is all about walking red carpets, attending film festivals and hoisting Academy Awards in the air?

Ryan Byrne, Hannah Craig and Danial O’Brien got their share of chills from lack of time, money and sleep when they made The Book of Nightmares in 2016. Throw in some frustration between members of the production team for a little more misery during 17 days of filming on locations that included Soo Pee Wee Arena, Coch’s Corner and Mid-Town Mortgage.

Being blunt about their experiences was part of the “unfiltered, fly-on-the-wall” experience the trio of filmmakers wanted viewers to experience when watching Summer of Blood: Nightmares in the Making. Five 10-to 15-minute videos are being rolled out each Friday during October. Search for the shorts on ACE Studios’s YouTube channel.

“ You always have this ideal thing that under the perfect conditions your movie will be exactly what you want it to be,” O’Brien told The Sault Star. “But the reality is you have a finite amount of time, money, especially the no-budget level we’re at. You’re running up against other people’s schedules and the amount of time that they can give you. We’re not dealing with Russell Crowes and Ewan McGregors who are doing it for a living.”

O’Brien is candid when he recalls his experiences co-directing The Book of Nightmares with Byrne.

“ It’s a lot of sweaty, gross people who have big dreams,” he says during the second episode of Summer of Blood. “We were really in the s—t at times.” O’Brien also recalls chirping from “armchair critics” who doubted a feature film could be made in the Sault.

O’Brien compared the film’s distribution to watching one’s child go off to college. ;

“It isn’t really ours anymore, it’s out in the real world being watched and downloaded by total strangers,” he said. “We learned a lot about what goes into the marketing decisions and how films are positioned as products at the end of the day. It’s no longer our little art project, it’s got to stand on its own two feet in the real world. It’s also the final leg of the journey where we can safely put the project in our rear-view mirror. Art is never really finished, just abandoned. And now that it’s made its final push onto DVD and we can physically hold the fruits our labours in our hands, well—Tom Petty comes to mind—it’s time to move on.”

O’Brien directs and stars in a thriller shot by ACE Studios in early 2020. The title is to be announced. Jamie Byrne, Kenzie Donofrio and Johnee Rae Whalen round out the cast. O’Brien applied lessons learned from The Book of Nightmares to his latest project.

“ You just learn a ton of lessons about time management,” he said. “The next film is filled with lots of cinematic tricks so that we could finish everything on our budget and the time that we had.”

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